The star of the week has to be Adam Szabo in Division Three of the Rother Valley and District Table Tennis League. The match was Phoenix E versus Szabo’s team Scorpions I. Veteran players Alan Redfern, Joyce Fox and Eric Twigg turned out for Phoenix Szabo, Nick Wootton and Lewis Ellams for Scorpions. First match, Redfern against Ellams and the youngster wasn’t going to let it be easy. He battled right through to the last game only just losing out 9 in the fifth. Then Szabo swiftly despatched Twigg in three games. Phoenix had a run of three wins to take them 4-1 up and then on came Szabo again this time against Fox. Three very close games later and Szabo had his second win of the night. Phoenix were still easily in control of the match but not of Szabo as doubles went their way and Twigg and Fox quickly overcame Wootton and Ellams respectively. So 8-1 to Phoenix in a comfortable victory. Szabo on last set against Redfern. Match lost and only his pride to play for, but, despite his 9 years of age, Szabo was not going to just let it slip by. In another close match he completed his trio of victories and went home star of the match on both sides.
In the top flight Scorpions B met Clifton A at Clifton, Scorpions home match! On this occasion Scorpions had to pull in a new player for the team who normally plays in Division Two because their regular players were unavailable. Michael Taylor turned out in Division One for the first time. Malcolm Manuel was first on for Scorpions against Tony Linggard. A close tussle went the distance with Lingarrd taking it. Then youngster Joe Saxton took no time defeating Colin Scott in three games followed by Taylor playing his first match ever in this division, against Wilf Ward. It nearly went to five but Taylor just pinched the fourth game to seal his first victory. Later on in his second match Taylor also beat Scott to make it 4-2 to the home side. Doubles lost in three straight and Saxton winning his third also in three. Taylor on again to try and make it a hat-trick at his first attempt but Linggard was simply too experienced to allow it. That left it up to Manuel to win his first of the night to take the two points. Saxton was the man of the match winning all his three but Taylor was the star winning two on his first ever outing in Division One.
Back to Division Three for the next highlight of last week when Scorpions J met Scorpions K for the final battle of the season between two teams both struggling at the foot of the League. Sam Wagstaff, Amy Marriott and Josh Wilkes for the J team and Daniel Schofield, Dan Fisk and Alex Selway for the K team. Wagstaff went into the match with a record of played 50 won just one, Marriott played 47 won two and Wilkes played 52 won none at all so far. All three have had many close battles but only converting three between them. The K team took a quick 4-0 lead and then it was Wilkes against Fisk. Wilkes lost the first 11-2 but fought back to win the second 11-8. Then he pinched the third to 9 and set himself up for yet another possible win. On so many occasions over the season he has come within a whisker of victory but never quite clinched one. Could this be the one? Fourth game ten all. Eleven ten. Match point for his first victory. And ….. he does it. On his 54th attempt! Then Marriott’s turn to get a rare victory. She had to wait until the fifth game before sneaking it 12-10. Doubles to the K team making it 5-2. Then on comes Wagstaff against Fisk. Wagstaff too has had so many near misses and only achieved the single victory but he took the fifth game 11-9 to double his tally for the season. Selway won his third to give his team the victory but plaudits have to go to Wilkes, Marriott and Wagstaff for their perseverance over the season, all winning one on this occasion.